The trade was originally reported that Logan Forsythe was being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. However, this deal was not quite as simple as previous deals this offseason where the Padres cashed in on a player's trade value. By the time the dust had settled it turned out it was a 7 player trade with 5 players going from the Padres in exchange for 2 from the Rays. We covered the Logan Forsythe part of the deal, with regards to why he was traded and how it impacts the 2014 team.
We also covered one of the players the Padres got in return. Left handed, 5'10" fireballer Alex Torres will join the Friars and work out of the 'pen. Josh Byrnes even confirmed the recent acquisition's initial role, but left open the idea that Torres could become a starting pitcher one day. That's good ssince when contacted after the trade, Torres mentioned that he would like to go back to starting. However, hopefully he can be satisfied as a lights out utility reliever since there seems to be a number of guys in the Padres organization with desires (and talent) to be in the starting rotation over the next few years.
In addition to Torres, the Padres acquire another fine pitching prospect from the Rays. The 2nd hurler added in the deal is Jesse Hahn. Hahn was one of the top arms pitching in the Rays' minor leagues. After being drafted in the 6th round in 2010 out of Virginia Tech, Hahn needed Tommy John surgery and would not make his professional debut until 2012. Since then his innings have been limited, but still has been used exclusively as a starting pitcher. This coming season should be the one where the training wheels come off and there are some thoughts that once they do he should move pretty fast up the organization ladder. His stuff is excellent, especially his fastball, and his feel for pitching is advanced. He should start in San Antonio and some think he could be ready for the majors in 2015. His injury history adds plenty of risk to his profile, but his talent provides plenty of reward.
In order to get these two quality arms, the Padres had to give up more than just Logan Forsythe. Four other players will go over to the Rays from the Padres. The one that even most casual fans should have heard of is Brad Boxberger. Boxberger came over to the Padres in the Mat Latos trade and was expected to quickly become a regular in the bullpen. Control issues kept him from being able to stick in the majors, but there are still many will high hopes for him as a late innings reliever. He joins Miles Mikolas, Anthony Bass, Tommy Layne, Colt Hynes and Brad Brach as another guy who had spent time in the Padres' pen over the last 2 years, got shuffled back and forth between Tucson and San Diego and will now be will another organization in 2014.
RHP Matt Andriese was also included in the deal. He is the best prospect the Padres sent to the Rays. He pitched in both AA and AAA last year and was getting close to making a case for a major league debut. His upside however, is nowhere near that of the guys the Padres got in return. He was good enough to get a C+ rating as the 19th best prospect in the Padres system last year according to minorleagueball.com, but was not seen by many as anything more than a potential 4th or 5th starter. As innings eating groundball type pitcher he also did not project well to the bullpen. He is not chopped liver though, so expect to see him working in the backend of the Rays' rotation or making spot starts in the years to come.
The Padres also gave RHP Matt Lollis. Lollis is a big man, somewhere around 6'9 250 lbs. There was always hope that he could harness that size and power to turn into an bat missing power pitcher. However, control issues first moved him from starter to reliever and plagued him to the point where he has not been effective since 2010. At 23 years old he still has time to develop, but a change of scenery was probably needed since the Padres had tried almost everything to get him on track.
The final player going over to the Rays is INF Maxx Tissenbaum. Tissenbaum was drafted in the 11th round back in 2012 out of Stony Brook University. You can read his blog here if you like. As a player the Padres worked him mainly at 2B, but he saw some time at SS along with brief trials at 1B and 3B. He spent last season with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps. He is a patient hitter that draws plenty of walks, but needs more pop in his bat to ever project as a major leaguer.
In the end the Padres gave up 5 players, but got back 2 sexier ones (baseball speaking, to each their own as far as physical attractiveness). While the Padres could have certainly used guys like Forsythe, Boxberger and Andriese, they are not guys that the team was counting on to make major impacts over the next few seasons. In return they got at least one player (Torres) that seems primed to be a major asset in the bullpen in 2014 along with another than has a decent shot to make an impact as a starter as soon as 2015. Both come with major risks, but the Padres are a team in need of more upside if they want to be contenders going forward.